In our laundry room a pet rabbit damaged the paneling in several places:

enter image description here

There are no replacement panels available that I could find. I don't want to tear out and replace all the walls.

Things I've considered:

  • adding wainscoting to cover the damage.

  • wall papering just the lower 3 feet (it would look like wainscoting)

  • painting over the lower 3 feet with light gray paint (it would look like wainscoting).

Any other ideas or suggestions?

[EDIT] I liked the answers but I found a thick wall paper that looked like wainscotting and covered well. I think a get the best results with the least effort:

enter image description here

Time will tell if it lasts.

  • paint would look better than that cheap fake wood anyway.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


I don't think you really have plywood there. It looks like some OSB type mix with with a veneer - these were super popular in the 60s-80s. With the veneer off I am afraid that painting it or anything else is going to look bad and not last. Cardboard doesn't hold paint well.

Since it is a laundry I would go with wainscoting. They make some super durable ones now that are thin and are almost plastic like. You could glue these on, add a line of trim above them and the room will look better and be more durable.

I would also just think about drywalling the room too. If the rest of your house is drywall it might be an expectation if you were ever selling.

  • FYI: I edited my question and posted the solution I used.. Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 15:37

Painting is going to be the best bet here. You could fill the cracks, then sand and prime and wallpaper, but thats more work and you end up with wallpaper.

Prime the damaged areas, then sand. Focus the sanding on the edge of the damage to smooth it as much as possible. Then prime again and sand any additional roughness that appears. That fiberboard will tend to soak up the primer and get rough, so you must sand after each primer coat. Priming the rest of the wall once should be enough, and should not need sanding.

Once you're happy with the smoothness and the primer looks good, you can paint with your choice of paint and color. If you want to use a darker color, keep in mind that the primer can be tinted close to the final color to help the paint cover better.

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